Daily Mail and People’s Postcode Lottery Breach ASA Code
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that the Daily Mail and the People’s Postcode Lottery violated its code by suggesting that the lottery is a way to solve financial problems.
Advert Presents the Lottery as a Solution
On 1 July 2023, the Daily Mail released an ad for the People’s Postcode Lottery. Contained within the ad were the words: "We had to postpone the wedding when Craig lost his job" and "Couple’s wedding is back on after they scooped £62,500 ($77,320) on People’s Postcode Lottery."
Additionally, it mentioned the couple had "just paid the deposit for their big day when Craig heard that he was being made redundant. Now the pair are looking forward not only to their wedding next year but also to planning a honeymoon after winning £62,500."
Based on this narrative, the ASA explored whether the advertisement insinuated that taking part in a lottery could be a solution to financial issues.
Solutions vs Benefits
In defense, the People’s Postcode Lottery argued they didn’t view the advertisement as transgressing the advertising standards. They emphasized that the ad did not suggest that the fortunate recipients were in financial duress before their winnings.
They believed the content of the ad showcased ‘the benefits of winning a prize,’ which is acceptable under the CAP Code. The Daily Mail also argued that the ad did not imply that lottery participation was a pathway to financial assurance.
We considered that along with the presentation of the couple as being stressed because they could no longer afford their wedding, had the effect of suggesting that winning the People’s Postcode Lottery was able to provide a solution to their financial concerns regarding the payment of their wedding.
That was further emphasized because the couple continued to play the People’s Postcode Lottery after Craig had been made redundant. Because the ad suggested that participating in a lottery was a way to solve financial concerns, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.